Sense of ‘Deja Vu’ as Myanmar meet Thailand in the SEA Games final

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Thailand Rungrat Phumichantuk (C) celebrates after scoring the first goal against Indonesia in their men's football semifinals match during the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Singapore on June 13, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN        (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The final in Singapore will have an air of familiarity about it when the two sides, Myanmar and Thailand who reached the last stage of tournament in the 1993 edition at the same venue involved again.

It was 22 years ago when Myanmar head coach, Kyi Lwin as a 28-year-old defender, helped his team dramatically upset the hosts 5-4 on penalties before losing to Thailand in a goal-fest 4-3 defeat in the final stage.

With the past loss is still fresh in the memory, the 50-year-old Burmese tactician is determined to redeem their failure on that occasion.

“I think Singapore is a good place for me,” said Kyi Lwin. “I was a player in 1993 and, now as a coach, I am happy to reach the final again.

“We have reached the final, so we are very close to our target [of a gold medal]. We’ve been waiting very long for this.”

Meanwhile on the other side, Thailand coach Choketawee Promrut insisted that the gold medals remain as his team target, but also worried by the Myanmar’s threat, who shared the same ambition to clinch the title.

“Myanmar are very strong and run a lot so we must work hard. Our target is of course the gold medal and the players must aim for that and a place in the national team,” said the 40-year-old trainer.

Myanmar qualified for the final after defeating Vietnam 2-1 in the semifinals, while Thailand sent Indonesia out from the tournament with a 5-0 heavy defeat.